ASCLS eNewsBytes
Dec. 3, 2013

Disease surveillance enters the 21st century
Medscape Medical News
Contagious disease data have been reported by cities and states to the federal government at weekly intervals in the United States since 1888. Now those data are publicly available in a computerized format thanks to a project at the University of Pittsburgh.More

Do you need year-end CE? Download educational sessions
American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science
The Human Microbiome, Update on New Oral Anticoagulants, Massive Transfusion Protocol and more!
Purchase these and more Annual Meeting session recordings for only $25 each! Download the synchronized audio and PowerPoint presentations in MP4 video format. P.A.C.E.® credit available through Jan. 31, 2014. Click here to order online.More

Holiday gift ideas
American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science
Purchase lab-themed gifts for your favorite colleague! IPad covers, Kindle cases, T-shirts, mugs, badge holders and more!

Purchase at the ASCLS Online Store or the ASCLS Custom Store.More

Adjuvanted bird flu vaccine gets FDA OK
MedPage Today
After a technical delay, the FDA has approved an adjuvanted vaccine against the highly pathogenic H5N1 avian flu. The vaccine will not be available commercially, but will form part of the national stockpile in case the H5N1 flu develops into a human pandemic, the agency said in a statement.More

Study: Many breast cancers may be linked with cholesterol byproduct
The Washington Post
Studies have long shown a link between obesity and breast cancer, and now scientists at Duke Cancer Institute may have found one important explanation: a byproduct of cholesterol that fuels tumors in some of the most common forms of the disease. The finding could point the way to simple methods to reduce breast cancer risk, including using cholesterol-lowering drugs such as statins and eating a healthier diet. More

Old drug may teach new tricks in treating infectious diseases, cancer
Bay Area Citizen
Meclizine, an over-the-counter drug used for decades to treat nausea and motion sickness, has the potential for new uses to treat certain infectious diseases and some forms of cancer, according to Dr. Vishal M. Gohil, Texas A&M AgriLife Research biochemist. The research on meclizine appears in the online version of the Journal of Biological Chemistry.More

Technology allows unprecedented accuracy in tissue sample marking
Medical News Today
New technology will soon enable pathologists to automate the process of marking tissue samples with unprecedented accuracy. TissueMark, developed by digital pathology specialists PathXL, analyzes the detailed structural patterns in tissue samples and marks the boundaries of potentially cancerous sections for more detailed analysis. More

Rise in measles, other infectious diseases has US public health experts on alert
Modern Healthcare
A recent measles outbreak in Arizona illustrates the potential costs associated with the recent rise in the number of cases of Americans diagnosed with infectious diseases that experts thought had been virtually eliminated in the U.S. This has prompted public health experts to examine new methods of addressing outbreaks of vaccine-preventable illnesses. More

Marker predicts radiation failure in nasopharyngeal cancer
Medscape Medical News
A cytokine found in the blood of patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma can lead to a strategy for sensitizing some radiotherapy-resistant tumors, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. Shu-Chen Liu, Ph.D., associate professor at the Molecular Medicine Research Center at Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan, and colleagues found increased serum levels of leukemia inhibitory factor in patients with local tumor recurrence after radiotherapy for Epstein-Barr virus-associated NPC.More

How labs can work toward bridging the silos
ADVANCE for Administrators of the Laboratory
Workplace silos are a natural byproduct of professionalism, but silos are often an impediment to improving quality and fixing day-to-day problems. By understanding what they are and how they are generated, your laboratory can bridge the silos starting today. More

Study: Kids hospitalized for flu need antiviral meds right away
HealthDay News via WebMD
Kids near death because of severe flu infection have a better chance of survival if they are given antiviral medications early in their treatment, researchers say. Children treated with antiviral drugs called neuraminidase inhibitors within the first 48 hours of serious flu symptoms developing are significantly more likely to survive, according to a study published online in the journal Pediatrics.More

Implantable medical laboratory-on-a-chip monitors key chemicals
Dark Daily
French researchers are zeroing in on a tiny, chip-based medical laboratory test device designed to be implanted under the skin. This miniature blood laboratory may revolutionize healthcare by continuously monitoring high-risk, chronically ill patients. The implantable lab-testing device is linked to the user's cellphone and can send alerts to doctors before symptoms are evident.More

Team finds potential cause for deadly breast cancer relapse
University of North Carolina School of Medicine via Medical Xpress
Researchers at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, working with cell lines in a lab, have discovered why some of the most aggressive and fatal breast cancer cells are resistant to chemotherapy, and UNC scientists are developing ways to overcome such resistance. Adriana S. Beltran, Ph.D., a research assistant professor in the department of pharmacology, found that the protein Engrailed 1 is overexpressed in basal-like carcinomas and designed a chain of amino acids to shut down the protein and kill basal-like tumors in the lab.More

As more meningitis cases hit colleges, experts urge awareness
HealthDay News
A potentially deadly form of meningitis has now been reported at three U.S. colleges, and experts say that while it's not time to panic, students need to be aware of the possible symptoms and seek treatment for them right away. This outbreak is concerning because most of the cases have been confirmed as a subtype of bacterial meningitis called group B. And the current meningitis vaccine used in the United States does not protect against group B.More

Disease surveillance enters the 21st century
Medscape Medical News
Contagious disease data have been reported by cities and states to the federal government at weekly intervals in the United States since 1888. Now those data are publicly available in a computerized format thanks to a project at the University of Pittsburgh.More

Hospitals try yogurt to prevent infections in patients
The Wall Street Journal
Holy Redeemer Hospital in Meadowbrook, Pa., was able to drive down cases of hospital infections after adding a new weapon to its arsenal: probiotics, the small organisms that help maintain the natural balance of bacteria in the intestines.More

Cancer prevention is in our control
A surprising amount of cancer, including cervical cancer, is preventable — in fact, a stunning one-half to two-thirds of our risk is in our control, many experts now believe. For example, about a third of all cancer deaths in the United States each year are linked to diet and physical inactivity.More

New studies shed light on Cushing's syndrome
Medscape Medical News
A study has identified, for the first time, a gene mutation that appears to be implicated in patients with Cushing's syndrome, and a second study has shed light on abnormal receptors in the adrenal gland in patients with this disease. This early research suggests that in the future, family members of patients with Cushing's syndrome could be offered genetic screening to look for "silent carriers" and novel drugs could be developed to target abnormal receptors and possibly halt the progression of this disease.More

Biologists ID new cancer weakness
MIT News
A new study from MIT biologists has found that tumor cells with mutated p53 gene can be made much more vulnerable to chemotherapy by blocking another gene called MK2. In a study of mice, tumors lacking both p53 and MK2 shrank dramatically when treated with the drug cisplatin, while tumors with functional MK2 kept growing after treatment.More